On his new single “Chismiten,” from next year’s forthcoming album, the Sahara Hendrix evokes the problem of jealousy within relationships, and turns to Allah for guidance.
Failing to speak out against neo-colonialism, or to say sweet words to his sweetheart, Mdou Moctar worries about the future of relationships when they are tarnished by jealousy. The prodigious Tuareg guitarist and composer confides in Allah in order to avoid being that person.
Supported by an unstoppable rhythm section, Mdou’s music draws its roots from both traditional Tuareg melodies and the reckless majesty of Eddie Van Halen.
The song is accompanied by a music video that blends illustrations by artist Robert Beatty with animated and cell phone footage shot in Niger, capturing the group’s fiery wedding performances, their friends and family, the markets of Niamey and Agadez, and the famous mosque of Agadez.
You may already know Mdou from his lead role in Akounak Tedalat Taha Tazoughai, literally meaning “rain of blue color with a little red,” the first autobiographical Tuareg film about a man who tried to become a guitarist, against all odds. Otherwise, you may have spent time with the monumental Ilana: Mdou Moctar’s first real studio album, recorded with his stage band — bassist and producer Mikey Coltun, drummer Souleymane Ibrahim, and rhythm guitarist Ahmoudou Madassane. As good at rocking a Tuareg wedding as they are at unleashing their sound on the stages of festivals, their energy, accompanied by Mdou’s swirling riffs, always makes for high-level performance.
Track available now via Matador Record.